The US has carried out an air strike in Syria targeting Mohammed Emwazi, the Isis terrorist and British citizen referred to as “Jihadi John” believed responsible for the beheadings of several hostages in the group’s gruesome propaganda videos.
The Pentagon did not say whether Emwazi had been killed in the strike.
“US forces conducted an airstrike in Raqqa, Syria, on 12 November 2015 targeting Mohamed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John,” the Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.
“Emwazi, a British citizen, participated in the videos showing the murders of US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, US aid worker Abdul-Rahman [Peter] Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, and a number of other hostages.
“We are assessing the results of tonight’s operation and will provide additional information as and where appropriate.”
A spokeswoman for the UK government said: “We are aware of the US statement about the air strike targeting Mohamed Emwazi.
“Like them, we are not commenting further at this stage.”
Associated Press quoted an unnamed US official saying that a drone had targeted a vehicle believed to be carrying Emwazi in Raqqa, the de facto capital of Isis in northern Syria.
Activist groups in Raqqa reported airstrikes and an explosion through the night of 12 November.
Diane Foley, the mother of James Foley, told ABC News that should Emwazi have been killed in the strike, it would be “really a small solace to us”.
“This huge effort to go after the this deranged man filled with hate when they can’t make half that effort to save the hostages while these young Americans were still alive,” she said.
CNN reported that the families of Emwazi’s American victims had been informed of the strike.
Emwazi was born in Kuwait in 1988 and came to the UK in 1994 when he was six years old.
His parents reported him missing in August 2013 and were reportedly told by police, four months later, that he was in Syria.(The Guardian)